Posted by: Anonymous
on June 12, 2008 10:25 PM
The author misses the importance of that $25,000 maintenance agreement. That IS the difference between Symphony and OO, and why IBM is doing this. Open is not the issue, and money is not the issue. The issue is giving the customer what the customer wants.
Symphony is good because it is aimed at specifically the people who are keeping the M$ lockin alive... those who ONLY buy software when it comes with a support package from a major vendor. Those entities will NEVER use OpenOffice because it doesn't come with support.
Lotus Notes is widely used, and is a known quantity to those users. More importantly, it provides functionality that they are acustomed to from M$ Exchange. (And if you don't think that's an issue, check out how many times you've heard of someone migrating everything except the exchange servers.) Moving to an office suite that is compatible, and has support (from the same well known company, no less) will feel *safe* for them, while allowing them to walk away from M$.
$25,000 is a drop in the bucket to a company the size of IBM, and they'd have to sell an awful lot of licenses before it would register more than a flicker on their balance sheet. I'd hazard a guess that the money is less important to IBM than to keep customers happy migrating to Linuz running their big shiny IBM hardware.